Medicine is a field requiring lengthy education and lifelong updation. In such a scenario, it might not always be possible for a physician to attend college again to upgrade their knowledge or enhance their knowledge on a particular subject. Technology comes to our rescue once again! Some of the best universities in the world have provided online courses that doctors can take up right from the comfort of their home or clinic. Here is a comprehensive list of the top 5 courses a doctor may take:

The University of Michigan: Introduction to cataract surgery

Cataract remains one of the leading causes of impaired vision worldwide. The course aims at making learning cataract surgery more accessible to physicians in US and worldwide. In this online course, expert cataract specialists explain in detail the pre operative well as post operative procedures. The videos enable the students to understand techniques and pitfalls of a cataract surgery. Surgical videos1 will explain the procedure at its best. Important topics like astigmatism small pupil, capsular complications are also be reviewed.

Objectives of the course:

  1. Describing the proper technique of performing cataract surgery from wound forming to wound care.
  2. To identify difficult cases of cataract and to strategize before beginning the surgical procedure.

University of California San Francisco: Genomic and precision medicine

Precision medicine is a complex field which has the potential of changing the way health care is practiced. The focus is using an individual’s genetic information to offer targeted treatment which is individually tailored.

Objectives of the course:

  1. To offer insight into structure of human genome2 and different types of  genetic and non genetic variations.
  2. Genetic screening and diagnosis
  3. Use of study of genome for solving diagnostic issues.
  4. Predictive test for complex diseases.
  5. Pharmacogenomic testing for drug selection.
  6. Genome expression used in treating cancer patients, and to find out blood tests of prognostic value.

University of California, San Francisco: Ethical and social challenges of genomic medicine

Another offering from the revered UCSF, this course deals with the application of the new knowledge of genomics in public health. Genetics is a promising concept, but with it come many social, ethical and legal questions and this course delves into them.

Objectives of the course:

  1. Introduction into ethical, social, legal issues concerning genomics and its applicability in medical treatment.
  2. Genetic screening and diagnosis before conception5.
  3. Genetic screening of new born.
  4. Predicting diseases and prognosis as per gene sequencing.

Stanford University: Anti-microbial stewardship: Optimisation of antibiotic practice

Antibiotics are the most frequently indicated medicines in the world.  However, 50% of the time antibiotics are prescribed inappropriately3. This causes not only harm to the individual patient, but to society at large, as there is an increased prevalence of antibiotic resistance developing  among the bacteria. This course will help the physician in deciding the approach to treatment, making an optimal decision and harm reduction as regards bacterial ecology.

Objectives of the course:

  1. Developing skills for proper treatment of acute infections.
  2. Using evidence-based antibiotic management to treat sepsis.
  3. Apply evidence-based antibiotic care to treat surgical patients requiring antibiotic prophylaxis etc

Boston University: Online post professional doctor of occupational therapy

Occupational therapy is a patient-centered practice aimed at improving the functional performance and thus the quality of life of the patient. The occupational therapy interventions focus on modifying the task, teaching the skill, education of the patient and aims at improving the performance in mundane activities. Students are paired with a faculty member4, helping build a one to one relationship, which will give the guidance required.

Objectives of the program:

  1. Evaluation of theory and evidence in your area of practice.
  2. Identification of shortcomings in the current interventions methods.
  3. Designing of innovative methods to fulfill those unmet needs.

Do you have any favourite online courses? Do let us know in the comments.

Contributed by Dr. Rachita Narsaria, MD